By David Alemian
Earlier this week, I was a featured speaker at the annual conference for the California Association of Rural Health Clinics. My presentation was titled “Physician and Key Healthcare Employee Recruitment and Retention”. This is a very hot topic within the rural healthcare community because it’s an enormous challenge.
It’s one thing to look at statistics, it’s an entirely different thing to talk to people who live every day right there on the front lines. This is a real problem that affects all Americans. Moreover, the problem is growing and will continue to grow, but first let’s look at the statistics.
25% of the US population lives in a rural area, so you would think they would need 25% of the physicians… right? Wrong!!!
Rural areas need more than 25% of the physicians, because people in rural areas are sicker than the people in the greater metropolitan areas and here’s why:
People in rural areas tend to be poor, uneducated, and lead unhealthy lifestyles. They smoke, drink too much alcohol, don’t exercise, and have a poor diet. As a result, by middle-age they have higher rate of chronic illness. They have heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and diabetes. Clearly this 25% of the population needs more than 25% of the physicians, but they only have 9% of the physicians.
To make matters worse, the rural population is getting bigger because we’re living longer, yet the pool of physicians is shrinking because more physicians are retiring than coming out of medical school.
The majority of physicians in rural areas are fresh out of residency, and they lack experience. In most cases they only put in a year on the job to get some experience under their belt. In addition to their salary, they want some of their medical school debt paid off, they want relocation expenses, and then after their first year they move on. The situation is putting stress on an overtaxed healthcare system, and overworked administrators, who are doing their absolute best to deliver healthcare.
I admire these unsung heroes; they are doing a very tough job, and it gets tougher with every year that goes by, and they stick it out. They’ve earned my help and they’ve earned your help.
After my presentation at the conference, everyone agreed that offering a lifetime pension plan in exchange for 10 to 15 years of service as a way to attract and retain olderss, more experienced physicians long term, would do a lot to help solve the problem. They instantly saw it as a way to overcome the huge challenge of recruitment and retention. The finance guys instantly saw it as a way to seriously cut overwhelming turnover costs.
Pension Plans will help the rural medical community in all parts of the country, and coming very soon is an army of older and more experienced physicians. They will be drawn by the American dream that up until now has alluded them, it’s the American dream of a secure retirement.
Absolutely make sure you come back here next week for another edition of the Alemian file.
About David Alemian
Successfully creating affordable retirement plans guaranteed to last a lifetime is a unique, specialty skill. It’s a challenging arena but respected writer David Alemian makes it look easy. Alemian is a leading retirement expert and nationally recognized authority whose expertise is shared via video columns, numerous journals, and talk-shows.
His national recognition results from both revolutionizing and revitalizing how organizations and individuals like you and me plan and save for retirement. Alemian is considered “The Go-To Guy” for creating and implementing absolutely irresistible, lifetime retirement pension programs.
Formerly the host of “It’s About Money” Radio Show, Alemian has also produced and is featured in over 200 financial education videos. Additional content can be found in many well-respected, publications including: MD Magazine, Physician’s Money Digest, Physicians Practice, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Consultant Live, Psychiatric Times, Cancer Network, OB/GYN.net, and The Healthcare Executives Network.
This article reflects the thoughts and opinions of the author and is being provided for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be considered financial or tax advice. Please consult your financial or tax advisor about your situation.